ASH Daily News 6 September 2017



UK

  • Study shows smokefree legislation improves child health
  • Alzheimer’s and smoking genes suggest we’re still evolving
  • Yorkshire: Bradford tobacco smuggler jailed after trying to flee UK

International

  • USA: Why smoking rates in the military are so high
  • USA: Flavoured tobacco ban heads to voters in San Francisco

 

UK
Study shows smokefree legislation improves child health

Child health has improved significantly since the introduction of smokefree legislation in many countries, concludes a large-scale global study. The implementation of smokefree legislation was associated with reductions in rates of preterm birth and of hospital attendance for asthma and for respiratory tract infections.

Experts said the latest study – which includes data from more than 57 million births and 2.7 million hospital admissions – offers the most complete analysis so far of the positive impact that tobacco control policies are having on children’s health worldwide.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said: “This is excellent news and demonstrates that tobacco control policies which reduce smoking prevalence don’t just benefit smokers but also those around them, particularly children. It also refutes the claims that smoking bans have led to more smoking in the home, which are just not borne out by the evidence.”

See also
The Lancet: Effect of tobacco control policies on perinatal and child health: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Source: OnMedica, 5 September 2017
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Alzheimer’s and smoking genes suggest we’re still evolving

We are still evolving – very slowly.Because most people in rich countries now live well beyond reproductive age, some argue that we have stopped evolving because natural selection has been weakened. But several recent studies claim we are still evolving, albeit slowly.

A team at Columbia University in New York has analysed human genome sequences to spot gene variants that are becoming rarer. One variant, of a gene called CHRNA3, is associated with heavier smoking in those that smoke, raising their risk of a smoking-related death. In the 20th century, people in the UK evolved to be less likely to smoke heavily, but the effect was tiny, according to a study of 200,000 genomes.

Source: New Scientist, 5 September 2017
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Yorkshire: Bradford tobacco smuggler jailed after trying to flee UK

A smuggler who smuggled more than 4,000kg of illegal tobacco products into the UK and then tried to flee the country has been jailed for 42 months.

The man was arrested at Manchester Airport by HMRC officers when he arrived to collect one of the consignments, which was mislabelled as dry mixed fruits, in November 2014.

Source: The Telegraph and Argus, 5 September 2017
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International
USA: Why smoking rates in the military are so high

Members of the United States military smoke at above-average rates. 2011 numbers showed that 24% of active duty personnel were smokers compared with 19% of civilians. 38% of the servicemen and women who smoke started smoking after enlisting.

The tobacco industry deliberately targeted young servicemen and women, according to non-profit organisation Truth Initiative, which consulted a searchable database of tobacco industry documents made public as evidence during previous litigation. Within the documents, they found references to members of the U.S. military as “the plums that are here to be plucked,” and discovered that tobacco companies considered the group high potential because they are “less educated” and have “limited job prospects”, among other traits.

Smoking costs the Department of Defense over $1.6 billion per year, taking into account tobacco-related hospitalisation, medical care and lost workdays. The department is taking steps to reduce the habit.

Source: HowStuffWorks, 5 September 2017
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USA: Flavoured tobacco ban heads to voters in San Francisco

San Francisco residents will be asked to vote on a recently approved ban on flavoured tobacco after legislators voted to reject a bid to have the ban repealed.

The legislators voted unanimously to reaffirm its support for the ban on all flavoured tobacco products after a tobacco-industry funded group submitted enough signatures in early August to put a measure seeking to repeal it on the ballot.

Proponents for the ban argue that flavoured tobacco products are heavily marketed to young people.

Source: SF Bay, 5 September 2017
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